Saturday, September 22, 2018

Very important news. Below is a press release from City of Lake Worth.

Public Notification from City of Lake Worth to Alter Water Chlorination Process September 22nd (TODAY) to October 10th.

The news about the temporary change in water chlorination methods for two weeks was front page news this week in The Lake Worth Herald and in the FREE Coastal & Greenacres Observer serving suburban Lake Worth, unincorporated areas west of the City that may notice a change in the taste of water from the tap.

For LOCAL news and what’s what in suburban Lake Worth click on this link and go to the “Options” menu for the 16-page PDF of the Observer.

To receive regular updates via the
 City’s newsletter “Worth Noting” use this link:

The City of Lake Worth is also on Twitter.

Below is the press release from the City of Lake Worth. If you have any questions about the temporary change of chlorination processes direct your questions to Lake Worth Water Utilities by calling 561-586-1710.

This temporary change in chlorination methods will also occur some unincorporated (suburban Lake Worth) areas as well. For example, if you are in zip code 33461 but not within the City limits (e.g., John Prince Park, Lake Osborne Estates) and see hydrant flushing going on click on this link for an explanation: “Suburban Lake Worth Fire Hydrants” vs. “Lake Worth Fire Hydrants”.

Without further ado, the press release from the City:

To maintain high water quality in the City of Lake Worth water distribution system, the City of Lake Worth Water Treatment Plant will temporarily change the water chlorination methods for two weeks from September 22, 2018 through October 10, 2018. The City of Lake Worth will also increase hydrant flushing during this time. This is a preventive maintenance process.

Starting September 22, 2018 a “free chlorine residual” water treatment method will be used to provide a stronger, faster acting disinfection process than the “combined chlorine or Chloramines” treatment which is normally used. The City of Lake Worth will revert back to the “combined chlorine” method by October 10, 2018. As part of this process, the City of Lake Worth will be flushing fire hydrants. This flushing will cause temporary water in the swales of the roadways. Please do not be alarmed by this water as it will dissipate within a few hours.

The City of Lake Worth* and their Consecutive Systems water utility customers including Hypoluxo Village, John Prince Park, Lantana Cascade and Palm Breezes Club may notice a slight chlorine taste or odor in their tap water during this period; however, these temporary conditions should not cause adverse health effects. Those who are especially sensitive to the taste or odor of chlorine can keep an open container of drinking water in their refrigerators for a few hours to allow the chlorine to dissipate. Users of home dialysis machines, owners of tropical fish, and managers of stores and restaurants with fish and shellfish holding tanks are advised to seek professional advice as the method of removing chlorine residuals differs from removing chloramine residuals from tap water.

*“Located in central Palm Beach County, Lake Worth is a dynamic, multi-cultural City with an individualistic style. People are drawn to the City by its acceptance of different cultures and lifestyles, historic districts, hip downtown and colorful arts district.”

Friday, September 21, 2018

TONIGHT! It’s COCO Movie Night at The HATCH!

LULA says, “Please join us tonight for the Día De Los Muertos [Day of the Dead] kickoff event!”

And learn more below about the upcoming sacred celebration of Viva La Vida.

Click on image to enlarge:

 More information from LULA: Admission is
FREE and parking is FREE too. For more information call 561-493-2550. The HATCH is located at 1121 Lucerne Ave.

Very important information about the lead-up to the 3rd annual Día de los Muertos this year:

Viva La Vida celebrates and honors the Souls of Children and begins on October 20th. To learn more about this sacred Central American celebration click on this link.

Then on Saturday, November 3rd is the big day: Día de los Muertos. For more information about the Day of the Dead use this link.

Below the video is a prayer from the Popul Vuh, an ancient collection of prayers from Central America, the region now called Guatemala.

Día de los Muertos in the City of Lake Worth is everyone’s festival! No matter what country or culture you come from. Everyone is welcome.

For more insight into ancient Central American traditions what follows is a prayer from the Popul Vuh, included in the chapter titled, “Native American Prayer” in The Interfaith Prayer Book. This is a compilation of prayers by author Ted Brownstein and the Lake Worth Interfaith Network, the 2014 expanded edition:

Make my guilt vanish,
Heart of Sky, Heart of Earth;
Grant me a favor,
Give me strength, give me courage
In my heart, in my head,
Since you are my mountain and my plain;
May there be no falsehood and no stain,
And may this reading of the Popul Vuh
Come out clear as dawn,
And may the sifting of ancient times
Be complete in my heart, in my head;
And make my guilt vanish,
My grandmothers, grandfathers,
And however many souls of the dead there may be,
You who speak with the Heart of Sky and Earth,
May all of you together give strength
To the reading I have undertaken.

For more information about the prayer book Popol Vuh click on this link:

[T]he story of creation according to the Quiche Maya of the region known today as Guatemala. Translated as ‘The Council Book’, ‘The Book of the People’ or, literally, ‘The Book of the Mat’, the work has been referred to as “The Mayan Bible” although this comparison is imprecise.

The Palm Beach County Commission, upcoming General Election, and vote for mayor.

But first, before we proceed, there is news from the PBC Commission. . .

Commissioner Dave Kerner
is now Chair of the VAB.

County Commissioner Steven Abrams (left)
is term-limited. He hands the gavel to
Commissioner Dave Kerner.

The message:

“I [Commissioner Kerner] stepped into my first role in elected service as a Chairman. The members of the Value Adjustment Board sought fit to elect me as the Chairman of this important institution after 8 years of leadership under retiring Chairman Steven L. Abrams. At our organizational meeting today, we passed the gavel, and also had the pleasure of welcoming our new VAB member Dr. Josh Smith.”

Congratulations Commissioner Kerner. Now back to the upcoming elections. . .

Please note: If you find yourself going a bit astray whilst reading this blog post. . .

At the end of this blog post is a helpful map of Palm Beach County with a color key to match up which commissioner represents that area.

For example, the little City of Lake Worth is only about 6½ square miles but is represented by two county commissioners. Both are up for re-election in 2020. Do you know who they are? And who will become the new mayor of Palm Beach County?

The current Palm Beach County vice mayor is Commissioner Mack Bernard who represents District 7. District 6 Commissioner Melissa McKinlay is the current mayor of PBC. From last year below is an excerpt from news datelined November 21st, 2017 by Sun Sentinel reporter Skyler Swisher:

     Commissioners voted unanimously Tuesday [Nov. 21st, 2017] to appoint McKinlay to the largely ceremonial post. As county mayor, she’ll run meetings and county government at functions. She also will have a big say on what appears on meeting agendas.
     The county mayor position is filled annually on a rotating basis by a vote of the seven-member commission. She assumed her duties at Tuesday’s County Commission meeting.

The first regularly scheduled County Commission meeting following the upcoming General Election is on Tuesday, November 20th and will include the swearing in of two new commissioners and the vote for mayor (which commissioner will replace the current mayor).

Which two commission seats will be on the General Election ballot in November?

First, to learn more about the County Commission click on this link. There are seven Palm Beach County Commission districts. Do you know which commissioner represents you? Find that answer below.

How will the upcoming elections change the make up of the County commission?

District 2 Commissioner Paulette Burdick and District 4 Commissioner Steven L. Abrams are term-limited (two-term limit) and cannot run for re-election.

District 6 Commissioner and current Mayor McKinlay had no opposition and was re-elected to another four-year term as a commissioner. McKinlay is now term-limited.

How will the upcoming November 6th General Election change the County Commission? Only two seats will be on a ballot this election cycle: Districts 2 and 4.

In the Democrat Primary last August 28th for the District 2 seat were:

  • Gregg Weiss [winner: 49.72%]
  • Emmanuel G. Morel [19.97%]
  • Sylvia L. Sharps [30.31%]

Mary Kaye Bates has filed to run and qualified for the District 2 seat as a write-in candidate. Gregg Weiss will be on the November General Election ballot but Bates will not. If you wish to cast a vote for Bates you have to write her name on the ballot.

In District 6 there are two candidates on the November 6th General Election:

  • William “Billy” Vale (Rep)
  • Robert S. Weinroth (Dem)

Here is a partial map of Districts 17.

Click on map to enlarge:

Click on this link and enter an address for which commissioner represents that area in PBC on
the County Commission.

Match the color key below with the map above.

Districts 2 and 4 will have new representation in the
very near future. Here is how the County
Commission looks today.

As to the question above. Which County commissioners represent the City of Lake Worth?

They are District 3 Commissioner Dave Kerner
and District 7 Commissioner and Vice Mayor
Mack Bernard
, both are up for re-election
in November 2020.

Thursday, September 20, 2018

Public libraries and learning your way around Central Palm Beach County.

Have you ever been to the public library in the Village of Palm Springs?

This Saturday the Village will kick off their Hispanic Heritage Month celebrations and activities at the Palm Springs Public Library with Remembering My Country, Part 1. And Eduardo Hernández de la Pava will be in Palm Springs to join the festivities as well. 

The Palm Springs Public Library is located at 217 Cypress Lane in the Village.

On the topic of libraries the Village of Palm Springs, Town of Lantana and the City of Lake Worth still have the traditional public library in their municipalities and the Palm Beach County Public Library System is also available for everyone in the public. And the Little Free Libraries too, learn more about that below as well.

Do you know where all these libraries are?

All that information is below and learn how to use the Geo Nav mapping tool as well, a detailed online user-friendly map provided by the Palm Beach County Property Appraiser of this place called Palm Beach County for the view of this entire County in perspective, e.g., where Palm Springs is in relation to all the other municipalities in the region. After a few tries you’ll become an expert and be able to find any location in the County in just a few moments. Click on this link to learn more.

Putting things in perspective,
the coastal region in Central PBC.

Click on map to enlarge:

Now to the news from the Coastal & Greenacres Observer* about Hispanic Heritage Month:

Official celebrations will begin at the Palm Springs Public Library Saturday, Sept. 22 at 3:30 p.m. with Remembering My Country, Part 1.

This Cultural Tapestry Series presentation will continue the following Saturday, Sept. 29 including an outside family fun event from Noon to 2 p.m. That afternoon will close with a performance by La Tuna from Okeeheelee Middle School at 4:30 p.m.

In honor of Hispanic Heritage Month the Library will hold an art exhibit and present the book Clonarte by Eduardo Hernández de la Pava on October 6. In the book, Hernández de la Pava interviews ten artists with Hispanic backgrounds. Several of the artists will be present to discuss their art.

For more information click on this link for the Village of Palm Springs’ official website or to download the Hispanic Heritage Month flyer use this link.

What about other public libraries in CPBC?

Here they are:

From the Village of Palm Springs further west is the County’s Greenacres Branch, Royal Palm Beach Branch and the Wellington Branch too.

The Greenacres Branch of the Palm Beach County Public Library System is located at 3750 S. Jog Rd. And Greenacres is the latest municipality in Palm Beach County to join the growing movement of Little Free Libraries as well.

Do you live in the City of Lake Worth? There is the Lake Worth Public Library in the Downtown located at 15 North ‘M’ St. and the County Library System is also available for the public. Nearby County branches are the Main Branch at 3650 Summit Blvd. in WPB, the Greenacres Branch and Lantana Rd. Branch.

The Little Free Libraries in Palm Beach County first got started in January 2015 in the City of Lake Worth. Read about City resident Mary Lindsey in an article titled, “One Small Town, Over 100 Little Free Libraries” by reporter Megan Blake-Horst.

Live in Town of Lantana? You have the Lantana Public Library, “A place for serious readers” at 205 W. Ocean Ave. and the nearby Lantana Road Branch at 4020 Lantana Rd. in unincorporated PBC.

In the Town of Lake Clarke Shores? Your nearby branches of the PBC Library System is the Main Library at 3650 Summit Blvd. in WPB and the Greenacres Branch as well.

In the Great Walled City of Atlantis? Nearby is the County Greenacres’ and Lantana Rd. branches.

Thank You for visiting today and hope you found this information helpful. Now go and visit your local public library and Little Free Library too!

*To download the Coastal & Greenacres Observer click on this link and then go to “Options” for PDF. The Observer is FREE and published by The Lake Worth Herald Press.

In Spanish “La Tuna” is students in traditional dress, singing serenades and playing traditional instruments.

Wednesday, September 19, 2018

Regional public meeting tomorrow at Lake Worth Casino Complex.

However, regrettably, also this week Mayor Pam Triolo will be attending meetings at the White House in Washington, D.C., and will not be able to attend the event at the Lake Worth Beach. But the mayor has little to fret about. Vice Mayor Andy Amoroso will ably represent the City of Lake Worth.

September’s meeting of the Palm Beach TPA is being held in the Lake Worth Casino Ballroom this Thursday (more details below).

TPA  =  Transportation Planning Agency.

Lake Worth Mayor Pam Triolo sits on the TPA Governing Board and Public Services Dir. Jamie Brown sits on the Technical Advisory Committee.

 The public relations manager for the TPA is Malissa Booth. For contact information click on this link.

The TPA Governing Board did not meet in July or August, so there will be a lot of topics up for discussion and debate at the Lake Worth Casino. And possibly one of those topics on the agenda will be a Palm Tran bus stop at the Lake Worth Beach. To learn more about that click on this link.

This is timely because a new bus stop — actually a Palm Tran bus stop that was eliminated ten years ago — may very well become another project, one of the seven schemes presented by CPZ Architects on August 7th at the Lake Worth City Commission to fix all the planning and infrastructure problems at this public beach that serves so many residents here in Central Palm Beach County.

FYI. Social media links for the TPA: Twitter.
Link In. YouTube. Facebook.

“I have a question.
What does the TPA do?”

Watch this short one-minute video to find out (the TPA was formerly called the Metropolitan Planning Organization [MPO]):

The September meeting of the TPA Governing Board will be held on Thursday, September 20th, 9:00 a.m., at the Lake Worth Casino and Beach Complex. The address is 10 S. Ocean Blvd.

Lake Worth Mayor Pam Triolo sits on the TPA Governing Board and the alternate board member is Vice Mayor Andy Amoroso.

Jamie Brown, the Dir. of Public Services in the City of Lake Worth, sits on the Technical Advisory Committee and the assistant director, Felipe Lofaso, is the alternate board member on TAC.

FYI: There are several vacancies on the Bicycle, Trailways, Pedestrian Advisory Committee. However, the City of Lake Worth has no representation on BTPAC. So hopefully that will change very soon. Why? Because as a long-time elected leader on the Lake Worth City Commission is fond of saying,

“If you don’t have a seat at the table, you’re probably on the menu.”

TOMORROW. PUBLIC MEETING. Topic: A.R.M. Loxahatchee National Wildlife Refuge in Palm Beach County.

Please note: The information below was published in the print edition of The Palm Beach Post. Information [in brackets] was added, e.g., links, additional information, and highlighted text. The Public Notice:

Public Review and Comment Requested for A.R.M. Loxahatchee National Wildlife Refuge Draft Visitor Services Plan and Environmental Assessment


The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service announces that the Draft Visitor Services Plan (VSP) and Environmental Assessment (EA) will be available for the Arthur R. Marshall [A.R.M.] Loxahatchee National Wildlife Refuge (Refuge) on September 10, 2018 for a 30-day comment period ending October 9, 2018. [emphasis added] The VSP outlines goals, objectives, and strategies for implementing and managing existing, new, and expanded wildlife-dependent recreational opportunities to meet the purpose of the refuge and the mission of the National Wildlife Refuge System as a whole.

A copy of the VSP may be obtained:

  • Online by visiting: [click on this link]
  • In person at the front desk of the Loxahatchee Visitor Center located at 10216 Lee Road, [suburban] Boynton Beach, FL 33473.
  • At the Main Library (West Palm Beach), Hagen Ranch, Wellington, West [suburban] Boynton, or West Boca Branch of the Palm Beach County Library System [for location/hours of each library click on this link].

A public meeting is scheduled for September 20 [TOMORROW], 2018 at the Wellington Community High School Theater, 2101 Greenview Shores Boulevard, Wellington, FL 33414 from 5:30PM to 8:30PM with a presentation starting at 6:00PM. Verbal and written comments will be taken.

How to submit comments:

  • Email comments to us [USFWS] at:
  • Mail your comments to Draft VSP, P.O. Box 924, Freeport, FL 32429.
  • At public meeting.


  • If you have any questions concerning the Draft VSP, please contact Laura Housh, Natural Resource Planner, at 912/816-8113.
  • For general inquiries, please contact the Refuge at: 561/732-3684.

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is committed to providing access to this meeting for all participants. Please direct all requests for sign language interpreting services, close captioning, or other accommodation needs to Ms. Laura Housh at 912/816-8113 or by close of business September 14, 2018.

The Arthur R. Marshall Loxahatchee National Wildlife Refuge was established under a License Agreement with the South Florida Water Management District in 1951 as an inviolate sanctuary for migratory birds. The vision of the refuge is to serve as an outstanding showcase for ecosystem management that restores, protects, and enhances a portion of the unique north Everglades biological community. This public asset provides for the enjoyment and enhanced quality of life for present and future generations.

To learn more about the refuge visit: [click on this link]

Connect with our Facebook page at [click on this link]

The mission of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is working with others to conserve, protect, and enhance fish, wildlife, plants, and their habitats for the continuing benefit of the American people. We are both a leader and trusted partner in fish and wildlife conservation, known for our scientific excellence, stewardship of lands and natural resources, dedicated professionals, and commitment to public service. For more information on our work and the people who make it happen, visit [click on this link].

End Notice of Pubic Meeting.

The TCRPC meets this Friday.

Take Note: The Treasure Coast Regional Planning Council (TCRPC) meeting in August was cancelled and the Draft Minutes from the meeting in July are available. For that information and more, including the time, location and more details about the upcoming meeting please continue reading this blog post.

From the draft minutes in July there are over four (4) pages of minutes on one topic:

“Management Alternatives for Human Wastewater Biosolids — Resolution”

From the staff report on the agenda for the July meeting of the Treasure Coast Regional Planning Council (TCRPC) is this information:

“Of additional concern are compounds found in human wastewater biosolids which may include: hormones; steroids; bacteria; viruses; polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs); pharmaceuticals; antibodies; polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDE fire retardants); polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) like Teflon, polishes, waxes, paints, and household cleaning products; organics; metals; and artificial sweeteners. Although these materials are applied in a manner that may not be harmful to humans according to EPA guidelines, their accumulated secondary impacts are not entirely known.” [emphasis added]

The topic of biosolids first came to the attention of many in the public here in Palm Beach County when Lake Worth Commissioner Omari Hardy, an alternate member on the TCRPC, presented his liaison report to the Lake Worth City Commission on August 7th. To read all about, “The other human poop problem plaguing the Treasure Coast and St. Lucie River, basins and estuary” click on this link for more information.

Briefly, before we proceed, the August meeting of the TCRPC was cancelled and the next regularly scheduled meeting will be on Friday, September 21st at 9:00.

Meetings are held at the Wolf High Technology Center, Indian River State College (Chastain Campus) located at 2400 SE Salerno Rd. in Stuart. To look over the agenda this month use this link.

Note that public comment is strongly encouraged at the TCRPC. For example, below is public comment by Mr. Drew Martin. For those who wish to attend the meeting this month carpooling may be an option for those who have an interest in topics such as the water releases from Lake Okeechobee and the water quality in the Indian River Lagoon.

Also of special note is on October 12th will be the “Joint Meeting with the South Florida Regional Planning Council in Broward County”. Meeting details and the agenda will become available at some time in the near future.

Now back to the minutes from the TCRPC meeting in July and the resolution, “Management Alternatives for Human Wastewater Biosolids”, several excerpts:

Staff indicated the proposed resolution is an outgrowth of the June Regional Biosolids Symposium Council co-sponsored with the Indian River Lagoon Council. Staff explained the resolution is intended to mark the time when we [Palm Beach, St. Lucie and Martin counties] start to work together as a region and as a state to increase awareness of current and future biosolids management.

and. . .

Councilman [Jeff] Hmara* from the Village of Royal Palm Beach asked how Council can go about reaching out to the federal government on this issue. Commissioner [Doug] Smith suggested using the fact that this will eventually lead into the Indian River Lagoon South and affect Everglades Restoration. . . . He stated the message needs to stay consistent and unified in order to get something accomplished in terms of policy.

On topic of wastewater biosolids Chair Drew Martin from the Loxahatchee Sierra Club had comments:

Under public comment, Drew Martin thanked Council for the resolution, because there is strong evidence that biosolids are getting into the [Indian River] lagoon and causing water quality problems.

And near the end of the meeting following the “Council Member Update” came the general Public Comment portion:

He [Drew Martin] stated there is not a lot that can be done in terms of releases from Lake Okeechobee, but there are things that can be done locally such as fertilizer ordinances, encouraging people to do septic conversions [to municipal sewer], and having people limit watering their lawns. . . . He encouraged Council to use biodegradable cups rather than Styrofoam when serving coffee.

Once again, the upcoming TCPRC meeting is on Friday, September 21st. The link to the agenda is above in this blog post.

There is also another very important meeting on Thursday, Sept. 20th: “Public Review and Comment Requested for A.R.M. Loxahatchee National Wildlife Refuge Draft Visitor Services Plan and Environmental Assessment”. To learn more about that meeting in Wellington click on this link.

*For the list of all TCRPC members and alternates click on this link.

Tuesday, September 18, 2018

Yes, it’s true: Part of the City of Lake Worth is within what is called the Lake Worth Drainage District (LWDD).

And find out below how the LWDD system of canals is all connected to lakes (e.g., Lake Osborne), the C-51 Canal (between the cities of Lake Worth and West Palm Beach), and the water that then flows into the Lake Worth Lagoon via the future Blueway Trail project.

To “Follow” the LWDD on Twitter use this link.
Some cities in Central PBC are entirely within the
district, but not the entire City of Lake Worth:

To view the LWDD “Conveyances Web Mapuse this link: see the district boundaries and what is controlled by the South Florida Water Management District (SFWMD) as well.

Contrary to what many believe, there is a small area of the City of Lake Worth within the LWDD — west of I-95 along the E-4 (Keller) Canal — and one of those areas is the City’s Park of Commerce. Below you’ll see how this all relates to future projects such as the Blueway Trail.

Further north in the City (see image below) you can see where the E-4 Canal meets the C-51 Canal, which is controlled by the SFWMD. The E-4 Canal connects to Lake Osborne, goes north and intersects with the C-51. However, this area is not within the LWDD.

The thin blue line is the E-4 Canal; the thick blue line is the eastern LWDD boundary. Note these in relation to Dixie Hwy. (U.S. 1) and Federal Hwy. further east.

Water from canals such as the E-4 flows to the C-51 and then into the Intracoastal past the S-155 “Spillway” structure.

Now back to the LWDD, use this link for their website, an excerpt:

South Florida is fortunate to receive over 50 inches of rainfall a year on average. Most of that amount is concentrated during the 6-month rainy season (May–October). While much of the runoff from these rains is discharged to the ocean to avoid flooding, a significant amount soaks into the ground and recharges the freshwater aquifers that supply our drinking water wellfields, lakes and wetlands.

and. . .

Without adequate drainage, human health and safety would be jeopardized and extensive property damage could occur. Similarly, if regional groundwater levels were not properly maintained, wellfields would be unable to deliver water to homes and businesses and the underground inland migration of salt water from the ocean could permanently contaminate the drinking water supply rendering it unsafe for potable uses.

Now you get a better idea how the canal systems all work together in relation to the “Inland Chain of Lakes” and the Intracoastal (aka, the Lake Worth Lagoon) and the future Blueway Trail “Creating Access for All”:

The vision for the Chain of Lakes Blueway Trail experience is to finally link Palm Beach County waterways by providing two-way access for small boats and non-motorized watercraft between the Chain of Lakes, Lake Worth Lagoon and the Intracoastal Waterway, which is just a few hundred yards away. In Palm Beach County, 80 percent of registered small boats meet this criteria – and that doesn’t include the thousands of kayakers, paddleboarders, canoers and others who use the local waterways every year.

Monday, September 17, 2018

Message received from LWEU datelined Sept. 17th, 2017, 1700 hours: “100% of reported electric outages restored!”

Exactly one year ago today at 5:00 p.m. everyone’s power was restored following Hurricane Irma.

But have you ever wondered why was so little was ever reported in The Palm Beach Post about what happened during that terrible storm last year in this City of Lake Worth? Find out why below.

And hope you enjoy the video at the end of this blog post produced by the Lake Worth Electric Utility (LWEU) following that massive hurricane.

The video produced with very Hipster music is of LWEU reporting about the “power restoration recap” following Irma. Assistant Dir. Walt Gill is featured along with other officials and linemen including those from out of town brought in to help get all the power restored in this City, areas in the Village of Palm Springs on LWEU and suburban Lake Worth too, e.g., Palm Beach State College and Jon Smith Subs (a critical need for College students).

Very little about what happened prior to, during, or post-Irma in this City was ever reported in the Post. However, a few days after the storms had passed and electric power was fully restored, City Manager Michael Bornstein was forced to publicly respond to an “egregious” story in the Post by a beat reporter who “took a crack at us.”

Why was so little reported in the Post about what happened? Because so many staff and employees had evacuated the area, including many beat reporters, and they didn’t return until well after the storm had passed. Marc Caputo at Politico had a thing or two to say about this. More about that momentarily.

As of May 1st this year Gatehouse Media is the new owner of the Post. But back in 2017 Cox Media was the owner of that newspaper.

In 2017 a man named Jeff Clemens was representing District 31 in the Florida Senate, a seat now held by State Senator Lori Berman. Just prior to the impacts from Hurricane Irma here is what Clemens wrote, echoing the sentiments of Marc Caputo last year:

“Palm Beach Post owners Cox Communications: You suck.”

Click on image to enlarge.

“Now what do we do?”

So just a few days before the high winds and storms arrived a whole lot of people working at the Post hauled ass out of town and that’s why there was so little news reporting about what happened in this City last year during Irma. But not everyone scooted out of town. Post reporter Joe Capozzi, a City of Lake Worth resident, hunkered in place and helped the City get information out to the public on Twitter.

And also thanks to the City of Lake Worth! Because of all their hard work getting information out to the public about what actually occurred did get reported and chronicled for posterity. Despite not being reported in the Post.

September 17th, 2017 at 1700: “100% of
reported outages restored!”

Enjoy the video!

Florida chapter of American Planning Associaton (APA) and The Cottages of Lake Worth mobile workshop.

Below is a collection of photographs from the tour held last Wednesday in the City of Lake Worth from the greeting by Mayor Pam Triolo at 501 Lake Ave. (City’s Recreation Division), a short presentation about the historic Cottages of Lake Worth, then some time at the City Hall Annex and the Lake Worth Historical Museum upstairs, followed by a walk west to the renovated structure now called the Book Cellar bookstore and then south to tour some of the original cottages built on 25- and 50-foot wide lots prior to WWII laid out in a traditional grid pattern.

The annual conference of Florida’s APA was held last Tuesday–Friday at the Palm Beach County Convention Center and during this conference were several “Mobile Tours”. The Cottages of Lake Worth tour was one and there were several others including a tour of art and the murals in Downtown Lake Worth by William Waters, AICP, the Dir. of Community Sustainability in the City.

The Cottages tour was originally to be about 2½ miles, a three-hour slow walking tour but the day prior, due to the extreme heat and humidity, made the decision to shorten the tour. Two cottages on the original tour were excluded but the owners were gracious and understood why. The heat was indeed brutal last Wednesday afternoon from winds out of the south.

Tour attendees were planning professionals statewide including, e.g., the cities of Lynn Haven, Lakeland, Vero Beach, Delray Beach, Miami Beach, Royal Palm Beach, the Village of Key Biscayne, a private consultant, and a land use firm from Indian River County.

“Living Large in Small Spaces”

To learn more about APA Florida click on this link.

The City liaison for the Cottages of Lake Worth tour was Lauren Bennett from the Recreation Dept. and the Florida APA did the rest: providing the transportation and logistics, including items like the name tags.

The tour leader, Yours Truly:

Now to the photographs of the tour. . .

Tour began at the Palm Beach County Convention Center. FYI: the exhibit hall is 100,000 sq/ft with approximately 30′ ceilings.

Signs directing convention attendees where to go:

Leaving the Convention Center went to the Robert A. Harris (aka, Lake Worth) bridge and gave a brief history and introduction to City history.

Use this link to watch a video of historic
“Lake Worth Florida” post cards.

Tour attendees learned about all the public land on the water (municipal golf course and Bryant Park on the Intracoastal), and the public Beach property along the Atlantic Ocean. They also learned that West Palm Beach DOES NOT have a beach.

A Tweet from the tour. . .

Mayor Pam Triolo welcomes the APA tour to Downtown Lake Worth (click on all images to enlarge):

The view inside 501 Lake Ave. across from the Cultural Plaza, the City Hall Annex building and Historical Museum.

The City graciously reserved 501 Lake Ave. for the tour and was welcomed by Mayor Triolo. The mayor talked about her time in office (first elected in 2011 and re-elected three times) how the City has changed and her focus on improving the basic infrastructure that had been neglected for so long. She talked about the Neighborhood Road Bond and the resulting street improvements and attendees asked questions such as how those improvements were progressing. I told them they would see much of that activity on our walk through the area south of the Downtown.

Another view inside the City’s Recreation Dept.:

Mayor Triolo (left) addressing the APA tour.

Then a short presentation followed about the history and architecture of The Cottages of Lake Worth.

And is it true, that “Lake Worth is the next Delray Beach?” No. That can never happen; click on this link to learn why.

Across the street from the Recreation Dept.,
a view of the Cultural Plaza.

Reminded the tour this City of Lake Worth was nearing 40,000 in municipal population and is a little part of a metropolitan area of 6 million plus. This City stands out vastly different than other coastal downtown areas in Palm Beach, Broward and Miami-Dade counties.

After the mayor’s talk I showed them a brief PowerPoint presentation concentrating on the area south of the Downtown with the most 25′ wide residential lots. Also reviewed the City’s historic preservation program, how long it has been in place and what was coming in the future. Erin Fitzhugh, a former Lake Worth Historic Resource Preservation Board (HRPB) member, joined the group at the beginning and was helpful filling in the blanks. Resident Tammy Pansa also joined the tour after we arrived at 501 Lake Avenue.

A postcard. . .

Last May at the Lake Worth Historic Preservation Awards Ceremony Janice Snearer, Taylor Jones, Dean Sherwin, Roger Hendrix, Teresa Miller and the many others who contributed to promoting The Cottages of Lake Worth were honored.

A group photo:

At the Cultural Plaza the tour stopped for a photo in front of the mural on the west wall of the City Hall Annex. Then it was on to the City’s Historical Museum on the 2nd floor.

Inside the City’s Historical Museum:

To learn more about this museum which just reopened after exhibits and displays were renovated and upgraded click on this link. Then it was on to something very exciting, The Book Cellar. . .

Everyone marveled at the Martin Luther King, Jr. mural on the back of the Palm Beach County Cultural Council structure. We then walked further west on Lake Ave. talking about City planning issues and stopped in The Book Cellar for some cooling down and refreshments.

FYI: Have you read journalist Ron Hayes’ account
of the “Resurgence of the Local Bookstore
and The Book Cellar in our Downtown?

From The Book Cellar we toured the neighborhoods south of Downtown examining cottages that appear in the Cottages of Lake Worth book (all tour participants received the paperback book as part of their registration).

Despite the heat of the afternoon our guests were very interested in The Cottages, taking pictures of homes and streetscapes. They were shown a renovated structure on 2nd Ave. South and saw examples of recent infill development, construction and renovations and also signs of someone going through the process to build a new residence on a 25′ lot on South L St.

A view of the walking tour:

Overheard people telling others they liked our City “vibe”. One guest from Miami said he is getting tired of living there and would seriously consider a three bedroom cottage in the City of Lake Worth.

Hope you enjoyed this blog post about the Florida
APA tour of the City of Lake Worth!

During this tour I made certain to remind everyone they were only seeing a small part of one of City’s six Historic Districts. Each district and each cottage has a character, style and size and all are uniquely different than cookie-cutter areas further west outside the City.

And in conclusion, a short video:

Sunday, September 16, 2018

In The Lake Worth Herald this week: Front page news about Lake Worth Electric Utility (LWEU).

Please Note: At the end of this blog post is a YouTube video, an update from LWEU Director Ed Liberty explaining why the Orlando Utilities Commission (OUC) was chosen to continue as the City’s electricity power provider. Let’s digress briefly.

It should be noted there is front page news in The Palm Beach Post today about the LWEU (see blog post following this one). News in the Post about the City’s Electric Utility is rare unless it’s news about a power outage or headline-grabbing “Zombie Alert”. And that’s because LWEU adds the “element of complexity” that most reporters try to avoid. However, the news today by reporter Joe Capozzi takes on one of the more complex issues at LWEU, the very real threat of exposed utilities to sabotage.

And briefly, LWEU is a growing utility. And so is Lake Worth Water Utilities (LWWU). Ongoing and future development west of the City is fueling growth in both of these utilities. For the service areas of LWEU and LWWU click on this link (note as growth continues within the City more annexations will occur outside the present municipal limits such as in unincorporated Lake Osborne Estates).

Now back to the news in The Lake Worth Herald and the LWEU agenda item: “Award selection and direction to negotiate power purchase agreement”. The action taken by the Commission was:

Motion made by Commissioner Maxwell and seconded by Vice Mayor Amoroso to approve the selection of the Orlando Utilities Commission for award with direction to negotiate the power purchase agreement for a term of not less than seven years.

The vote was unanimous.

This LWEU purchase power agreement was front page news this week both in the Herald and Coastal & Greenacres Observer. The headline in the Observer:

“OUC Expected to Continue as LW Power Provider”

The Herald headline was slightly different.

Pick up this week’s print edition at the City’s newsstand located at 205 N. Federal Hwy.
The Herald is still just ¢50!

The Observer is FREE: Click on this link and go to “Options” menu to download the PDF.

The news in the Herald, three excerpts:

In November 2017, the Lake Worth Electric Utility Advisory Board (EUAB), Electric Utility Director [Ed Liberty] and Vantage Energy began preparing for engagement in the selection process for the next power purchase agreement.

     On August 30, 2018, the EUAB held a public meeting to conclude the selection process.

and. . .

     The existing power purchase agreement with OUC is set to expire on December 31, 2018. In November 2017, the City Commission issued a partial waver of the City’s Procurement Code to the Lake Worth Electric Utility allowing the Electric Utility to issue a targeted offer to utilities capable of reasonably providing the City with a power purchase agreement. In April 2018, with assistance of Vantage Energy, an outside consultant, the Electric Utility issued an Offer of Memorandum to several utility companies.

more information. . .

     After initial discussions with the targeted utilities, the City obtained written proposals from four utilities, OUC, FMPA [Florida Municipal Power Agency], FPL and Next Era. After review of the initial proposals, the City decided not to move forward with Next Era whose proposal was limited to a solar offering only and did not contain the full complement of services the City needs.

     After further review and modeling of the proposals, the EUAB conducted an initial round of closed presentations with each of the remaining utilities: OUC, FMPA and FPL. After which the City requested each utility submit its best and final offer to the City. The best and final offers were reviewed by the Electric Utility Director and modeled by Vantage Energy to normalize the offers based on expected energy and capacity amounts to compare the offers.

     The EUAB, Utility Director and Vantage Energy met in an open meeting and compared the best and final offers. It was determined all offers met the objectives of the Offer of Memorandum and a determination was ultimately determined by cost factors.

To sum up this process is the YouTube video from the City Commission meeting this week on agenda item C2 for the power purchase agreement with OUC. Mayor Pam Triolo opens up the discussion, Vice Mayor Andy Amoroso asks a question and LWEU Dir. Liberty begins his explanation of the process:

Hope you found this information helpful and Thank You for visiting today. For more about the news on the front page of the Post today continue to the following blog post.

Lessons learned: About predictions, frequency and strength of hurricanes every year.

UPDATE: Briefly, before we get to hurricane predictions (later in this blog post) there is new news to report. . . 

Palm Beach Post reporter Joe Capozzi has a front page article today in the Sunday print edition (excerpt below) that just might be what the editorial board at the Post has been waiting for.

Hard to believe but today marks three hundred and eighty-four days since the editor(s) at the Post have editorialized about this City of Lake Worth. That’s right, 384 days, one year and nineteen days.

And for those of you here during Hurricane Irma last year you may recall it was Capozzi who hunkered down and helped this City get out information to the public via Twitter. A few days prior to Irma all the staff and reporters were taken by surprise when they were told they couldn’t use the Post headquarters on S. Dixie Hwy. as shelter during the storm. That’s when almost everyone at the Post scooted and/or hauled ass out of town. And shortly thereafter the story made the news by Marc Caputo at Politico and all over Florida.

But anyhow, Capozzi’s news hit the print edition today on page A1 above the fold with a terrible headline. Open-ended questions in headlines should always be avoided by headline editors. Here is the original headline in the online edition:

Did gunman open fire on Lake Worth transformer, blacking out city?

Now today’s headline, another open-ended question:

Could power outages have been sabotage?

Here are the opening two paragraphs from Capozzi’s story:

LAKE WORTH — It was disturbing enough that a transformer in the city’s main electrical substation exploded in a fireball on a calm April night, knocking out power for seven hours to all of Lake Worth.

But after the fire was out, crews inspecting the damaged device saw something sinister — a jagged hole that looked like it was intentionally made by a projectile, perhaps even a bullet. They also noticed holes and nicks in other nearby equipment.

And also cited in Capozzi’s article is the “ZOMBIE ALERT”, the breaking news by former Post reporter McKenna Ross on May 21st:

 In a Sun Sentinel news report was this line: “The alert had a resident, Wes Blackman, asking: ‘Was the system hacked or just a dumb joke?’ ”

To order your “ZOMBIE ALERT” T-shirt
use this link.

Now on to hurricane predictions and other lessons learned over the years. . .

Below in this blog post, once again, is “The lesson from Hurricane Wilma” and why this lesson is so important for residents of this City and all customers of the Lake Worth Electric Utility (LWEU).

Projections and predictions receive a lot of social media ‘clicks’ which the press and media follow frantically every single hour, they sell more newspapers and they make for really cool 10-second spots promoting the 6:00 and 11:00 o’clock news.

But other than that those predictions and projections don’t matter a hill of beans. Why? It doesn’t matter if it’s predicted to be a slow Season or a high Season for hurricanes. Because it only takes one, take for example what happened in August 1992. That terrible storm forever changed the building and construction codes here in the State of Florida.

In 1992 the first storm didn’t form until April, a subtropical storm, and it just fell apart. In June there was a topical depression that was quite significant, dropping a lot of rain on Florida. In late July another tropical depression formed and later became a ”fish storm” in the Atlantic. Then another tropical depression formed. A small, tightly-formed storm that weakened into a minimal storm. That minimal storm a little later was given a name: on August 23rd Hurricane Andrew hit the Bahamas with 165 mph winds and shortly thereafter at Category 5, Andrew hit Homestead.

At Biscayne National Park there is a plaque that reads,
“On Monday, August 24,1992, at 4:30 a.m., the eye wall of Hurricane Andrew passed over this point before striking Homestead and southern Miami-Dade County.”

Now to another hurricane. . .

The lesson from Hurricane Irma was:

Prepare for the 2018 Hurricane Season.
Get your trees ready for the next hurricane!

Do you remember this video?
Outage Update following Hurricane Irma.
September 12th, 2017.

Delivering the information above is LWEU Dir. Ed Liberty. Here is another important message:

“Planting the right tree in the
right place is the single most important thing [electric
utility] customers can do.”
—Bud Fraga

Below is more about this quote from Bud Fraga along with more information as reported in the Post by reporter Susan Salisbury post-Hurricane Irma. Also below is an excellently written and composed Letter to the Editor published in the Post on this important topic.

Here in the City of Lake Worth, Hurricane Irma provided us a very important lesson without as much pain inflicted like the storms of lore: Frances and Jeanne in 2004 and then Wilma in 2005. The fewest days I was without power was after Frances, ten days. After Hurricane Matthew in 2016 went one day without power and then five days sans electricity following “monster storm” Irma last year.

Every hurricane is different and each
one teaches us a lesson.

The lesson from Irma was as clear as can be. Prepare for the next hurricane: get your trees and vegetation clear of the power lines on both public and private property.

The City of Lake Worth is unique in that we have our own Electric Utility, a Tree Board, and there are many educational opportunities like the annual Tree Festival each February and places to visit such as the popular Grey Mockingbird Community Garden, to name just one of many. So we have the tools in place to get the word out. But the problem is, will it?

It’s not like we weren’t warned repeatedly post-Hurricane Irma by many reporters, the Post’s Susan Salisbury is just one, “After Irma: Why planting the right tree in the right place matters”.

Frances, Jeanne and Wilma taught us how important hardening and fortifying the electrical grid is. We learned that lesson well. Matthew taught us how important it is for a city to be well prepared ahead of time. Another lesson learned. Only time will tell if we learn the lesson from Irma.

A Letter to the Editor by Mr. Lippman of Boynton Beach published in the Post:

“It appeared to me that most of the damage during the recent storm [Hurricane Irma] was done by falling trees and tree branches. But with few exceptions, palms were not the problem. Hardwood trees were.
     In my community, the standard set by Palm Beach County for a typical 5,000 square-foot property is followed, and that calls for one palm tree and two hardwood trees. Whatever the reason for county regulations requiring the planting of hardwood trees, it should be modified so they are kept at a safe distance from the roofs of homes and other structures, from roadways and, most importantly, from power lines. [emphasis added]
     It is not enough to require Florida Power & Light [Lake Worth has its own Electric Utility service area] to properly prune hardwoods near power lines. They [hardwood trees] shouldn’t be there in the first place. And planting them on grass medians in the middle of roadways is asking for trouble.
     If a certain number of hardwood trees is environmentally desirable, perhaps they should be clustered on golf courses, on very large properties and in parks where they can do little harm when the winds attack them.”

Going forward, it’s not as if there isn’t enough source material to educate the public. Some of this information has been out there for many years now:

Right Tree Right Place is all about
Trees and Power Lines”:

  • Find the right tree. “Before selecting your tree, make sure you know how tall, wide and deep it will be at maturity, and whether it’s a problem tree.”
  • Choose the right spot. “At maturity, will your trees’ canopy reach the overhead lines?”
  • Work safely. “Whether you’re planting a tree, preparing your property for storm season or picking fruit, remember to stay safe and stay far away from power lines at all times.”

And this too, Trees under and near power lines from the University of Florida.

Here are two excerpts from Salisbury’s article cited above:

     The Federal Regulatory Energy Commission began requiring utilities to manage vegetation growth along the path of their larger power transmission lines after shoddy tree-trimming around major power lines by Ohio Utility First Energy Corp. was found to be the root cause of an Aug. 14, 2003 blackout that cut power to 50 million people in the U.S. and Canada.

and. . .

     In Florida, a law that took effect in 2010 prohibits trees that will grow taller than 14 feet from being planted in utility rights-of-way. That law also requires utilities to conduct trimming in rights-of-way and prohibits municipalities from requiring utilities to obtain a permit to cut trees and vegetation.
     But utilities have no control over vegetation outside their rights-of-way. [emphasis added]
     That, FPL says, is where homeowners come in.
     Customers can do their part by planting the right tree in the right place — away from power lines — and by keeping trees trimmed before hurricane season each year, FPL says.
     “Planting the right tree in the right place is the single most important thing customers can do,” Fraga [FPL spokesman Bud Fraga] said.

And once again, this is very important, the City of Lake Worth has its own electric utility and is responsible for maintaining its own right-of-ways to deliver electricity, not the responsibility of FPL.